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NBC/WSJ Poll: Nationwide majority now favors legalizing same-sex marriage

“Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into same-sex marriages?”

In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll just out this morning, 51 percent said “favor,” 40 percent said “oppose.” The poll has asked that question since 2003. The new result is the first time support reached a majority. But it’s only up a titch since nine months ago, when 49 percent said “favor.”

What’s really impressive is to track the change since March of 2004, when opponents outnumbered supporters of same-sex marriage by 62-30. In 2009, it was 49-41 opposed.

The full poll is here. The marriage question is Q33.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Daniel Duckworth on 12/13/2012 - 11:55 am.

    Are you sure you are askng the right question?

    Is this really the pertinent question? When the state of California out it out to a vote the majority of voters said NO. Does the Federal Government really have the right to intervene?

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 12/13/2012 - 02:24 pm.

      Times are a’changin’

      The California Prop 8 vote was four years ago, in 2008. In 2009, according to the poll Eric is citing, opponents still outnumbered supporters 49-41, so the Prop 8 vote fell within that time frame.

      But the point I believe is being made here is that the trend is shifting, and what was true even four years ago may be seeing some significant shifts since then (at least “significant” from the standpoint of a minority becoming a majority). After all, look what happened in Maine in just three years.

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/13/2012 - 07:42 pm.

        1000 people

        who happened to answer a poll is indicative of….what exactly?

        Not much.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 12/14/2012 - 08:27 am.

          The poll that matters most . . . . . . .

          happens in the voting booth.

          As I said above, look what happened in Maine in just three years.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/13/2012 - 02:58 pm.

    There is also the question

    of the amount of out of state money spent on an advertising campaign opposing Prop. 8.
    And I don’t see any proposal to make marriage per se part of the Federal domain.
    The Feds get involved when someone’s civil rights are infringed.
    The states have the right to determine marriage procedures, but these procedures must apply equally to all citizens of the state (equality before the law).

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/14/2012 - 09:20 am.

    It’s all in the question and the context

    Republicans played a cynical game for a few decades. They pretended that personal opinions projected public policy, and they frequently parlayed that into wedges in a politics of divisiveness. Most Americans are kind of sloppy thinkers specially when it comes to issues that they don’t think directly affect them. I don’t think opinion has actually changed that much, what’s changed is the context. If you ask people what they personally think about marriage the majority of heterosexuals will probably say it should be between a man and a woman. However, if you put the issue in terms of civil rights and ask whether or not anyone else should be prohibited you start to get different responses. You see this with abortion for instance, a majority will say they don’t personally think abortion is right, but when ask about criminalizing it people start waffling.

    I think a lot of Americans have been confused and sloppy about these wedge issues. People didn’t really understand that were codifying their personal opinions and imposing them on others. I think Americans started realizing that when you make your personal opinion law, you become an agent of repression, in a free country we’re supposed to entitled to different opinions. Being a good citizen and having an opinion are not the same thing. The question isn’t what you think marriage should be, the question is whether or not you have the right to impose your view on EVERYONE else? I just don’t think Americans understood the real nature of the question. I don’t think a majority of Americans really believed it was appropriate to force their opinions on everyone, I think they were confused about the difference between a vote and a public opinion poll. “Values” voting exploited that confusion by pretending that values alone could dictate public policy.

    For a variety of reasons a significant number of Americans have come to realize that “Values” votes have led to gridlock, division, and oppressive public policies- the exact opposite of what such votes were supposed to yield. We were moving towards a nation that dictates rather than respects individual values and I think a significant number of Americans finally realized that. What we’ve seen is a change of voting behavior that probably exaggerates the underlying change of attitudes.

  4. Submitted by Bob Sodervick on 12/29/2012 - 10:02 am.

    Gay Marriage/Homosexuality

    Because people define themselves in a significant way through their intimate relationships with others suggests that in a nation as diverse as the United States, that there may be many “right” ways of conducting these relationships.
    It also suggests that in a variety of circumstances, we have to recognize that giving people the freedom to choose how to conduct their lives, is acceptance of the fact that different individuals will make different choices!
    Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much, that would be but a mere shadow of freedom! The test of freedom is the right to differ about things that touch the heart of the existing order!
    It is precisely because the issues raised by gay marriages and homosexuality touches the heart of what makes people who they are, that we should be especially sensitive to the rights of those whose choices upset the majority!

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